Classroom tidiness

School days are hectic and “hurly-burly”. There is so much to do and so little time in which to do it! That being the case, it is easy for teachers and students to overlook the need for classrooms and personal space within (desks, tables, lockers and so on) to be kept in a reasonably clean and tidy state.

There can be nothing worse than opening a student desk to see a mass of learning material, waste material, socks, hats, toys, and other bits and pieces shoved in all higgledy-piggledy and to the extent that it’s hard to exert the pressure necessary to force the desk lid closed.

Another area easily sullied is the classroom floor. Pencil shavings, bits of writing tool, pieces of paper of all sizes, items of clothing, food scraps and wrappings if children needed the tables and other things finish up as then try to strewing around on the floor. Often the floors left in the polluted state until cleaners come in at the end of the day and endeavour to straighten out the chaos.

That is not a good look! Neither does it do anything for the reputation of the class or teacher – for cleaners certainly talk amongst themselves and to each other about the state of things they find in classrooms.

They need to be some basic rules about classroom cleanliness and tidiness. That can be hard because of pressure is driving on teachers and students. Nevertheless it is necessary. Some suggestions:

. Have children periodically (at least once a week) go through and clean the lockers of residue.

. Undertake the same routine for desks but possibly a little more often. Make sure the children have loose papers fastened into books or folders is the case might be.

. Have children or students pick up any rubbish from the floor at the end of each session or period. That become something done before recess and lunch breaks. If insisted upon that process becomes “automatic”, a habit of many children will undertake without having to be reminded.

. (Ensure that the above applies equally to older students as well as younger. Students will sometimes argue that it is not “cool” to pick up after oneself and to keep things tidy. That particular lackadaisical mindset needs to be overcome.)

. Check the children keep refrigerators closed and lunchboxes tidy within.

. If children aged lunches in the classroom, check to make sure that their lunch containers are clean, that they keep their food as they should, and that any genuine rubbish goes into the bin.

. Cupboards and, and Benchtops belong to the whole class. Include those areas in the cleanliness and tidiness drive. It might be appropriate to assign particular students groups to particular common areas within the classroom and it becomes their responsibility to ensure that tidiness is maintained.

* Make sure that the teacher for example is one that models to children. Teachers tables and work areas need to be kept tidy and organised in the same way as being advocated for children. There is nothing more powerful than personal example.

. Having students involved in group competitions reward cleanliness and tidiness in my opinion is a good idea. Rewards can be extrinsic or intrinsic. Reinforcing the need for positive civic attitudes is important and putting clean, tidy needs into some competitive context can be quite fun.

School days are hectic and “hurly-burly”. There is so much to do and so little time in which to do it! That being the case, it is easy for teachers and students to overlook the need for classrooms and personal space within (desks, tables, lockers and so on) to be kept in a reasonably clean and tidy state.

There can be nothing worse than opening a student desk to see a mass of learning material, waste material, socks, hats, toys, and other bits and pieces shoved in all higgledy-piggledy and to the extent that it’s hard to exert the pressure necessary to force the desk lid closed.

Another area easily sullied is the classroom floor. Pencil shavings, bits of writing tool, pieces of paper of all sizes, items of clothing, food scraps and wrappings if children needed the tables and other things finish up as then try to strewing around on the floor. Often the floors left in the polluted state until cleaners come in at the end of the day and endeavour to straighten out the chaos.

That is not a good look! Neither does it do anything for the reputation of the class or teacher – for cleaners certainly talk amongst themselves and to each other about the state of things they find in classrooms.

They need to be some basic rules about classroom cleanliness and tidiness. That can be hard because of pressure is driving on teachers and students. Nevertheless it is necessary. Some suggestions:

. Have children periodically (at least once a week) go through and clean the lockers of residue.

. Undertake the same routine for desks but possibly a little more often. Make sure the children have loose papers fastened into books or folders is the case might be.

. Have children or students pick up any rubbish from the floor at the end of each session or period. That become something done before recess and lunch breaks. If insisted upon that process becomes “automatic”, a habit of many children will undertake without having to be reminded.

. (Ensure that the above applies equally to older students as well as younger. Students will sometimes argue that it is not “cool” to pick up after oneself and to keep things tidy. That particular lackadaisical mindset needs to be overcome.)

. Check the children keep refrigerators closed and lunchboxes tidy within.

. If children aged lunches in the classroom, check to make sure that their lunch containers are clean, that they keep their food as they should, and that any genuine rubbish goes into the bin.

. Cupboards and, and Benchtops belong to the whole class. Include those areas in the cleanliness and tidiness drive. It might be appropriate to assign particular students groups to particular common areas within the classroom and it becomes their responsibility to ensure that tidiness is maintained.

* Make sure that the teacher for example is one that models to children. Teachers tables and work areas need to be kept tidy and organised in the same way as being advocated for children. There is nothing more powerful than personal example.

. Having students involved in group competitions reward cleanliness and tidiness in my opinion is a good idea. Rewards can be extrinsic or intrinsic. Reinforcing the need for positive civic attitudes is important and putting clean, tidy needs into some competitive context can be quite fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.